Developmental Changes in Actin and Myosin Heavy Chain Isoform Expression in Smooth Muscle
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Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Smooth muscle cells express isoforms of actin and myosin heavy chains (MHC). In early postnatal animals the nonmuscle (NM) actin and MHC isoforms in vascular (aorta) smooth muscle were present in relatively high percentages. More than 30% of the MHC and 40% of the actin isoforms were NM. The relative percentage of the NM isoforms decreased significantly as the animals reached maturity, with NM MHC less than 10% and NM actin less than 30% of the totals. Concurrent with this decrease in NM isoforms was an increase in the smooth muscle (SM) isoforms. The relative changes and time frame in which these changes occurred were very similar for the actin and MHC isoforms. In arterial tissue there were species differences for changes with development in the two SM MHC isoforms (SM1 and SM2). The ratio of SM1:SM2 in young rat aorta was approximately 0.5, while this same ratio was approximately 3 in young swine carotid. Both adult rats and swine had a SM1:SM2 MHC ratio of approximately 1.2. Rat bladder smooth muscle showed no significant change in NM vs SM ratio between young and old rats, while the SM1:SM2 ratio decreased from 2.7 to 1.7 between these age groups. The shifts in α and β actin were similar to those in the vascular tissue, but of much smaller magnitude.